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DTS and What I Learned About Love.

Jan 13, 2021 11:17:06 AM

The following is a transcript from a graduation speech shared by a student of our 2020 Summer DTS as he reflected on his time with YWAM Salem.

"My name is Grant and I am deeply honored to be able to share with you and speak on behalf of my friends, classmates and family here today. 

I want to share with you a little about love.

One of the big reasons I had for enrolling in this course in the beginning was because I felt that I didn’t love God. I felt that my reasoning behind “living for God” was not based out of genuine love but out of a desire simply to do what I believed was “right”; because following Jesus was the “right” thing to do. 

And so I came to YWAM with an underlying goal of fixing this issue, fixing whatever was wrong with me, whatever was inhibiting me from experiencing the teary-eyes passionate Jesus-love that I had seen many in the faces of the church members and believers around me.

However, coming to YWAM initially didn’t appear to help at all as I felt like I was failing to connect with God during the extended worship and prayer times, while others around me seemed to be routinely brought to smiles and tears. 

After four weeks with little to no progression on my side goal here, I felt a shift and it came during one night of worship during our “Father Heart of God” week.

During that night, I believe I, for the first time, heard the voice of God in my head as He told me that He was proud of me and that I had nothing to prove to Him and that He genuinely liked who I am, because He had created me this way. 

I began to feel something closer to a love for God. The kind of love that I would feel for a friend or family member. I thought my problem was fixed, that I was fixed!

But soon, the feeling began to fade and I knew that I was once again where I had started, the very place that I didn’t want to be. 

I began to become frustrated with the others on my team who simply couldn’t wait for worship while I, for the most part, couldn’t wait for it to be over.

Then we went on our Outreach and I began to learn that I maybe don’t connect with God through corporate worship, in the "typical" way but I connect with Him by admiring and being in His creation. The land, the sea and the lives they hold; all life that He created. 

I realized another thing on outreach too; maybe that was okay. 

Maybe God didn’t make a mistake when He created my mind and manufactured my soul from nothing. Perhaps the way I am and where I’ve been has given me an entire unique perspective on God, and on how I best connect with and worship Him. And what if everyone is as unique and different as I am. 

Then the conclusion would be that since God is responsible for our uniqueness, that these differences are not only okay but are valuable! And when encouraged, grant the body of Christ and the Church even greater perspective. 

I learned that beauty comes after frustration; when we stop stewing in our lack of understanding and simply accept the fact that we are different from one another and that instead of others being a weakness when they are not like us, we ought to lift each other up, in the gifts that others have that we don’t and to bear with one another in those weaknesses (Romans 15:1).

My own weakness?

I came to DTS asking the wrong questions. I was asking “what is wrong with me”, instead of “what did God uniquely gift me with?” I was frustrated with “why don’t I love”, instead of taking time to ask “what is love?”.

Love. Love takes many forms and is as diverse as we are. And we can all relate to some form of expression of love for our God. For some, it is the "ugly-crying-for-Jesus" love. For others like myself, I like to liken myself to a young knight; loyal and ready to go anywhere and do whatever his king asks of him.

He doesn't love his king any less, he just goes about showing it in a different way. And for my different way, there are many, many others!

We not only all express love differently but experience it differently so let’s not try to change the way others show love or how they feel it. The best we can do is strive to understand each other, for all the intentionally- made wonder we are. 

Because when we see the wonder in who we are, we find even more wonder in the one who is truly worthy of our love.

So love each other, love yourself and love God in any and every form that takes. 

Thank you!"

If you have any of the same questions or feelings as Grant, then a DTS at YWAM Salem might be a great avenue to explore! Take 5 months to spend intentional time looking for answers while growing in community and sharing the love of Jesus with The Nations! 
If you'd like more information about our training courses and how you could be involved, get in touch today!

Interested in Jesus, adventure, and growing in your faith?

Do a Discipleship Training School, YWAM’s flagship missionary training course. It's a great gap year option. It's also perfect for anyone looking to step out of the ordinary and grow in your faith.

How does it work?

First, you’ll spend 3 months getting to know God amongst a vibrant Christian community and the inspiring beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Then you’ll embark on a life-changing 2-month overseas missions trip, focused on making God known. A new DTS starts every September, January, April, and June! Submit your info below to learn more. 

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